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Leading GP to advise GMC’s medical manslaughter review

Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada will advise the GMC’s independent review into gross negligence manslaughter.

Professor Gerada, a GP in south-west London and medical director of the Practitioner Health Programme, is one of 10 experts chosen to assist Dame Clare Marx as she conducts the review.

The GMC said the expertise on the working group spanned the medical profession, including doctors in training, the legal system, employers and patients.

The experts will meet regularly throughout the year, to analyse all aspects of how GNM cases are initiated and investigated in the UK, the GMC said.

This will include:

  • What happens after a fatal incident occurs
  • The impact of any criminal investigation
  • Inquiries by a coroner, procurator fiscal or sheriff
  • The regulatory process and the GMC’s fitness to practise processes.

Dame Clare said: ‘The wealth of knowledge and experience of the working group members will be hugely valuable for the review into how gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide cases are dealt with, and what can be improved.

‘As a group we are committed to exploring every avenue to promote a no blame culture and encouraging a renewed focus on reflective practice and learning. It will be a difficult challenge, but I am confident that my colleagues on this working group are the ideal team to achieve this.’

As previously reported, the GMC’s review will explore why there are fewer cases involving healthcare organisations compared with individuals.

It will also look at whether enough consideration is given to ‘system pressures, errors or failures’ surrounding the doctor at the time of the patient’s death, and to ‘diversity matters’, after the GMC was accused of ‘inherent bias’.

The review was announced following the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, who was struck off the medical register after the GMC appealed against its own tribunal’s ruling that she could continue to practise despite a court conviction for gross negligence manslaughter.

The other nine members on the working group are: CQC advisor and former cardiac surgeon Leslie Hamilton; Professor Pali Hungin, a professor of primary care and general practice; Bertie Leigh, non-executive director of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and chair of the Clinical Disputes Forum; Liz McAnulty, retired nurse and barrister; Vivienne Parry, a genomics scientist who will be lay adviser to the working group; Selva Ramasamy QC, who will be legal advisor to the working group; Professor Iqbal Singh, described as a ‘pioneer in ethnic health and diversity’; Dr Jude Tweedie, a cardiology trainee; and Dr Iain Wallace, chair of the Scottish Association of Medical Directors.